Thank you for your responses. Allow me to add some additional information. When this concept was proposed, we were told that this was being formatted using "research based" criteria. I have yet to see the research on which this practice was based. In pooling my fellow staff members, I find that having family members present is more a hinderance that an an asset to the provision of quality nursing care. Allow me to expound on this if I may. I work in a Neurosurgical Critical Care Unit. The majority of the patients who are admitted to the unit have experienced a significant neurological assault and are minimally responsive. Many are kept in a minimal state of responsiveness using various pharmacologic treatment modalities. A large number have multiple hemodyamic monitoring (arterial lines, swan ganz, ICP, etc). These patients require frequent neurologic assessment, physiologic monitoring and and of course basic nursing care. Add to this the numbers of ancillary testing (CT scans, angiography, echocardigrams, MRI, etc). The rehabilitation process also figures into the mix...PT, OT, Speech. Often one feels like traffic controller. I am not underestimating the therapeutic value of having a familiar voice or loving touch; nor do I wish to suggest that visitors do not serve a valuable addition to the healing process. For the most part, visitors do have a sense of when it is time to leave the room. However, there is often a quite negative situation that occurs. Sometimes the family members become very angry that they cannot stay in the room all the time. There have been times when the visitors have caused a major scene including yelling and foul language. I have had several family members in the intensive care setting. There are times when leaving the room is appropriate...during a bath, cleaning up incontinence, painful procedures. Additionally, those family members who are compliant with our policies see and hear those who choose not to be. I have noted the results of these things in our Press Ganey scores.